ARTICLE: What if My Spouse Won’t Get on Board with Estate Planning?

What if My Spouse Won’t Get on Board with Estate Planning?

We get it – starting the process of estate planning can be very difficult. Whether you’re barely an adult and just starting married life or celebrating your 50-year anniversary and well into retirement, no one wants to think about their own death or incapacity. It can be a huge hurdle to get over before moving forward. But, while the need may seem more imminent with advancing age, everyone can benefit from getting their affairs in order.

What if you’ve overcome this hurdle and are ready to begin the process, but you can’t get your spouse to agree to a consultation with an estate planning attorney? How can you get them onboard?

Go Ahead and Get the Ball Rolling
While comprehensive estate planning for a married couple requires both spouses to participate, it is possible to start the process on your own.

In fact, some pieces of an estate plan are stand-alone documents for each individual spouse.

For example, you can take care of your personal instructions such as an advanced healthcare directive and powers of attorney for your healthcare and any of your own assets. Additionally, you can decide what will happen to your personally-held assets and design a plan for them.

And, while you won’t be able to include them in your estate plan right away, you can create a list of all your jointly held assets. That way, when your spouse is ready to join the process, you’ll be well-prepared.

Share Your Experience
By taking action yourself, you’re creating momentum. Maybe just seeing that you’ve overcome the hurdle will encourage your spouse to join in. Further, if you share the positive aspects of the process with your spouse, you may also demonstrate how the benefits of estate planning outweigh the discomfort of thinking about mortality. For example, many of our clients enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that they’ll be taken care of in exactly the way they want if they become incapacitated.

The empowerment that comes with taking control of what is otherwise an uncertain future can be inspiring. Seeing that you’ve taken action to secure your own future may make the process seem less intimidating to your spouse.

Meet with a Corning Estate Planning Attorney
For estate planning with empathy, consider Roth Elder Law, PLLC. We’d be happy to start the estate planning process with you and help to inspire your spouse to join in. Call us today to schedule an initial meeting at 607-962-6162 or complete this intake form and we’ll be in touch.

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We at Roth Elder Law, PLLC, believe in providing services in a way that clients can easily understand and meaningfully participate in designing and maintaining their estate plan for their loved ones, as well as be assured that their plan will be administered according to their wishes.